The one remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, a valiant symbol of care in the face of reaction as well as a critical material resource, will finally be stopped from performing the procedure later this week:
Wednesday will be the last day the Jackson Women’s Health Organization can provide abortions after a state court declined to block a near-total abortion ban from going into effect on Thursday, July 7.
In court Tuesday morning, attorneys for the clinic asked the judge, Special Chancellor Debbra K. Halford, to block the state’s 2007 trigger law from taking effect Thursday, July 7. When it does, the ban will “prohibit abortions in the state of Mississippi” at any stage “except in cases where necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life or where the pregnancy was caused by rape.”
Lawmakers set the law to become effective only if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed that 1973 precedent on June 24 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch took steps on June 27 to make the trigger law enforceable 10 days afterward.
While asking the judge to block the law, the clinic’s attorneys cited a 1998 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Pro-Choice v. Fordice, which found residents have a “right to have an abortion” as part of the “right to privacy.” Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart, however, told the court that the 24-year-old ruling relied on now-defunct Supreme Court precedents, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.